1. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are reconstructing their bullpen and they might like Ottavino.
Now, if the Yankees want to absorb the smallest portion possible of Ottavino’s $9 million salary for 2020, it’s probably in Cashman’s best interest to call the Los Angeles Dodgers. Perhaps the best scenario here is the Yankees take on $1 million and acquire lefty reliever Scott Alexander in return, who’s projected to make $1.2 million in arbitration.
The Dodgers are pressed up against the luxury tax threshold, but guess what? If they’re retaining Turner, they’re going over it. They’re already at $200 million with a few cases heading to arbitration, and we don’t think they’ll win their battle against Walker Buehler, which will cost them almost another $1 million. They might just have to go over.
So if you’re going to exceed it, why not use the analytically-driven front office and coaching staff to fix Ottavino and make him a deadly weapon in the middle innings? You’re telling me manager Dave Roberts won’t be able to deploy him in favorable spots to make him effective and rebuild his confidence?
The Dodgers run a bullpen by committee anyway. Nobody has a concrete role, which could greatly benefit the right-hander, who clearly has trouble handling pressure to a certain extent. And when you factor in Otto’s spin rate, FIP and xERA — all of which are solid despite his horrific ERA, WHIP and strikeout numbers from 2020 — it could be a good sell.
Three NL teams that still need varying degrees of bullpen help. It’s not out of the question.